Welcome to the latest edition of the SwitchArcade Roundup! There’s over a dozen new releases today including the intriguing Mulaka and Detention, and we’re gonna run down some of the more interesting ones from today, and cover the rest in a future column. It’ll be curious to see how long the Switch’s gold rush lasts, if it still is happening: a platform where a ton of titles, mostly ports, are hitting at once seems potentially unsustainable. You might be living in the middle of the golden age of Switch games, so enjoy it while you can.
Kirby Star Allies demo in Europe
Nintendo’s next Kirby game Kirby Star Allies is coming out on March 16th, but if you want to give it a spin early, there’s a demo available now on the EU eShop. It’s not in North America yet, but you can easily register an EU eShop account online, add the account to your system, and easily use it to access the eShop for yourself. It would be ideal if Nintendo would just release it worldwide at the same time, but maybe there’s a reason for it, or the North American specific build needed a bit of extra time. Regardless, it’s shaping up to be a good year for Kirby fans between the 3DS Kirby game and now this.
This looks like quite the interesting title. Based on the culture of northern Mexico’s indigenous people, the Tarahumara, you go on an adventure inspired by the culture’s mythology. Created by the Chihuahua, Mexico based Lienzo, their game looks gorgeous and I dig the concept. So much of western fiction is based on European mythology and archetypes, and while there’s nothing wrong with that in particular, there’s so many other cultures in the world that have interesting stories to tell. Look at how something like Never Alone is able to create an interesting world through under-represented stories. This seems well worth checking out. As we’ve seen with the way Black Panther takes from African cultures, there’s a market for these stories to be represented, too. Mulaka‘s early reviews seem promising as well.
A Normal Lost Phone
I’m not trying to sound cynical here, but I’m not entirely sure why you’d pick up this game on the Switch when you could get it cheaper, and on a device that’s more ideal for portrait play with your phone? Maybe if you’re trying to localize everything onto one platform, or just need a good excuse to check this one out now. I hope this does well, I’d love to see more mobile-style games do well on the Switch, particularly since there will be a trickle-down effect. I feel like so many indies haven’t gotten to express their talents with touchscreen game design because mobile has become so free-to-play-driven. If touchscreen and even portrait games can work on a platform where people are still buying games, then that’s very good! But still…this is a little silly, no?
Taiwanese game developer Red Candle Games brings its side-scrolling horror game to Switch. Taking place in the 1960s, you have to survive the strange events taking place in the school, solving puzzles and uncovering the school’s dark past. Similar to Mulaka, this is another example of how different cultural inspirations can make for unique games. The Steam reviews are overwhelmingly positive for Detention, so if you need some more horror after the Outlast release this week, this is a good choice!
Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo
Arc System Works brings forth its robot-customizing hack ‘n slash to the Switch. This isn’t the first portable version of the game, since it released on the Vita, but at least now you don’t have to worry about that weird touchpad on the back with the Switch version! Expect to fight against robots gone rogue and save Tokyo.
Mike Bithell’s interactive fiction game about robots and a subway train is out now on Switch. This is the first “Bithell Short" and is designed to be something you can play in a single session. Perhaps there are some interesting wrinkles to be found on further playthroughs, but if you want to experience a unique story from the creator of Volume and Thomas Was Alone, check this out.
Hole in the World
I appreciate Dolores Entertainment and Mad Gear Games saying “You already know how to play!" A lot of retro-style games act like they’re new and fresh, as opposed to just unashamedly bringing retro-style action in the 2010s. I feel the same way about metal bands that unashamedly rip off the 1980s themselves. The styles were perfected, there were just riffs that went unused. Here, you’ll fight through enemies, acquiring bosses’ powers, and going through upside-down worlds. There’s five worlds in total, a Game+ mode, and multiple endings. Hmm, maybe this is throwing a few wrinkles that the original NES platformers this is clearly inspired by didn’t have.
Totes the Goat
Jools Watsham’s Atooi studio is wisely going in on the Switch, with this mobile Q-Bert-inspired title now available on the Switch. While 2015 saw a ton of isometric goat games for some reason, this game actually does skew close to Q-Bert, albeit with a ton of goats and other characters to unlock. If you need an arcade-style high score chaser on your Switch, this is a solid choice.
See, unlike Sega, HAMSTER is jumping on a good thing while it’s fresh with their retro releases. They have two more this week: Star Force is a 1984 shoot ’em up from what is now Koei Tecmo. Meanwhile, Sengoku 2 is a time-traveling beat ’em up from SNK, so you can expect some of that unique Neo Geo style in spades here. These titles might not shine so brightly once the Virtual Console hits the Switch, but for now, HAMSTER’s getting smart and dropping as many classics as they can.
Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!